xmlns:fb='http://www.facebook.com/2008/fbml' Mummy's Easy, Cheesy, Caribbean "Scalloped" Potatoes

Friday, December 13, 2013

Mummy's Easy, Cheesy, Caribbean "Scalloped" Potatoes



I thought to myself, if I only had time to share one recipe over the next two months, what would it be? This dish came to mind. Mummy made this occasionally to go with our Sunday lunch, which was always fancy and interesting. One such combination was roasted chicken, fried rice, scalloped potatoes, veggie chow mein, pepper shrimps accompanied by a trifle for dessert. Nothing you would expect in a small village surrounded by sugar cane fields some forty years ago.

She always referred to it as “scalloped potatoes” but I have never seen a recipe for scalloped potatoes with eggs. It can also be referred to as “potato pie or potato casserole” and if you want to get technical you can even call it aloo pie, but, as we Trinis know, that name is already taken. Whatever the name, let’s not allow that to get in the way of a good time.


This blog has taken on a mind of its own, the most popular recipes are not the healthy, low calorie recipes I posted, but those that are reminiscent of the taste of home. Because of this, I plan to share a little more of the comfort foods that were such an integral part of my childhood. These “comfort” foods ignite memories of a time long gone. A time we wish had never ended. For me, it’s those Sunday lunches we enjoyed together when my dad was alive. We would all be huddled up around the dining table in our tiny kitchen, which also served as the living room. We had the barest of necessities, yet at mealtimes, there was always peace, contentment and much to feast on.


Back then, and even now, I found comfort in food. If Mummy had never said I love you, her food did, the care, the attention she put into every meal was evident. She had an unspoken passion for cooking. The same passion I inherited, unspoken it isn’t. The joy that these meals brought me still inspires me, three decades later(maybe closer to 4 but who’s counting ;-)) , to do the same for my family. Nothing makes me happier than serving my husband and girls a plate of food that lights up their face, touches their soul and creates lasting memories. Memories which will serve as a source of comfort despite what life throws at them in the future. 

This is my story, this is my song….and this is my recipe for Mummy’s “Scalloped” potatoes……with a few of my own additions and variations...



Easy, Cheesy, Caribbean Scalloped Potatoes
Serves 4-6

Ingredients
1 1/2 - 2 pounds organic russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices 
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
2 cups (8-10 ozs) shredded "trinidad Cheese", extra sharp white or yellow cheddar cheese  or gruyere 
1 egg
1 can "Carnation" evaporated milk (about 1 ½ cups) (or heavy cream or a combination of both)
Salt (1/4 teaspoon) and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic (about one small clove-use more according to your taste)
1 heaping teaspoon green seasoning (optional)
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Ria's updates: Thanksgiving 2015, I doubled the recipe; used a combination of white cheddar(8 oz), yellow cheddar(8 0z) , vermont cheese(4 oz)  (total 20 oz of cheese), also used half evaporated milk and half heavy cream ( 1 1/2 cups each) and the result was phenomenal. 

Directions
Peel potatoes and slice into 1/8- inch thick slices. Rinse the potatoes and drain.

 

In a saucepan, add water and salt (I use 2 tablespoons himalayan salt) and bring to a boil over high heat.
Once it comes to a boil, lower heat, carefully add potatoes to the boiling water. Raise heat to high again. Cook for 8 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked but still firm. Drain. Cool.


Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, mix egg, milk, grated onion, minced garlic, black pepper, salt, green seasoning and nutmeg(if using).


Generously butter a small casserole dish (I used an 8 by 10 dish below). Place 1/3 of potatoes in an overlapping pattern. 


Top with 1/3 of the cheese. Pour 1/3 of the milk mixture. Sprinkle with thyme leaves and a little freshly cracked black pepper.


Repeat layers two more times(potatoes, cheese, milk, thyme, black pepper). Press potatoes into the milk. Milk should come almost to the top of the potatoes, if not, depending on the size of your dish, add more.
Top with grated parmesan cheese, if using.



Baked uncovered @ 325 degrees fahrenheit for 30-45 minutes until bubbly, cheese is a lovely golden brown and your kitchen smells heavenly.


Leftover tastes much better, so feel free to make it a day ahead. You may also assemble the day before, cover and refrigerate. Next day, bring to room temperature and bake as usual.


Seen above: Scalloped potatoes, roasted chicken, green beans and cranberry sauce.

Happy Holidays!
From my family to yours,
With love,  best wishes 
......and fabulous dishes,
Ria 

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